Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ram Gopal Varma|
|Produced by||Ram Gopal Varma
|Written by||Manish Gupta|
Kota Srinivasa Rao
Kay Kay Menon
|Music by||Background Score:
|Edited by||Nitin Gupta
|Distributed by||K Sera Sera
|Budget||₹130 million (US$1.9 million)|
|Box office||₹400 million (US$5.9 million)|
Sarkar (Hindi: सरकार, translation: Overlord) is a 2005 Indian crime film set in the world of Marathi politics and crime, written and directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan in the title role alongside Abhishek Bachchan as the younger son, Shankar Nagre, along with Kay Kay Menon, Katrina Kaif, Anupam Kher, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Supriya Pathak and Tanisha Mukherjee. It is the first installment of Sarkar film series.
Set up in the world of Indian politics, the Godfatheresque is partially inspired by the life of Bal Thackeray. Along with film's sequel, Sarkar Raj, released on 6 June 2008, the film was archived at the American Academy of Motion Pictures library. The blockbuster film was premièred at the New York Asian Film Festival.
Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan), who is known by his followers as Sarkar, lives in Mumbai. The opening scenes show a rape victim's father (Veerendra Saxena) approaching Sarkar for justice (which the corrupt law and order system has failed to deliver) which Sarkar promptly establishes by having the rapist beaten up by his henchmen. His son, Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon), plays a sleazy producer who is more interested in the film actress Sapna (Nisha Kothari) than his wife Amrita (Rukhsar). Sarkar's other, more upright son, Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan), returns from the United States with his love Pooja (Katrina Kaif) after completing his education there. Pooja's doubts about Sarkar's image cause Shankar, who firmly believes in his father's righteousness, to break up with her later in the movie.
One day, a Dubai-based don, Rasheed (Zakir Hussain) tries to strike a deal with Sarkar; he promptly refuses on moral grounds and also forbids him from doing it himself. Rasheed tries to eliminate Sarkar's supremacy with the help of Selvar Mani (Kota Srinivasa Rao), Sarkar's former associate, Vishram Bhagat and Swami Virendra (Jeeva). Meanwhile, they trap Sarkar by assassinating a righteous, upright, Ahimsa political leader and an outspoken critic of Sarkar, Motilal Khurana (Anupam Kher), and frame Sarkar for the murder. Everyone, including Vishnu believe that Sarkar is guilty but Shankar has deep faith in his father. Sarkar gets arrested. Shankar now takes over the position of Sarkar temporarily. On learning of a plot to murder his father in prison, he approaches the police commissioner (Anant Jog) who mocks him and his father besides not providing protection. Shankar and Khansaab, one of Sarkar's men, try to ask Selvar Mani for help to prevent possible murder, but Mani ultimately betrays them when he reveals that he is in an alliance with Rasheed. Rasheed prepares to kill Shankar and Khansaab but only Khansaab is killed when he decides to sacrifice himself for Shankar. By the time he reaches the prison and appropriate action is taken, the attempt on Sarkar's life is already made. Sarkar is later acquitted. He remains bedridden as Shankar takes on Sarkar's enemies.
Meanwhile, Selvar Mani, Swami, Vishram and Rasheed try to convince Vishnu to murder Sarkar. Vishnu was previously thrown out of Sarkar's house because he had murdered the actor who was having an affair with Sapna. Vishnu returns home pretending to have repented. When he approaches Sarkar in the dark of the night with the intent of murdering him, Shankar foils his plan and later kills him (establishing justice by the way of his father). Shankar eliminates Rasheed, Vishram and Selvar Mani. He also succeeds in making Swami his puppet. Shankar has also realised that Chief Minister Madan Rathore (Deepak Shirke) also has a part in the attempt to end Sarkar and his rule. This results in legal action against the Chief Minister. The closing scenes show people approaching Shankar for justice and his father apparently retired.
Commercial and critical reception
Sarkar was superhit at the box office and was greeted very well by critics. Critics liked the way the movie indigenised The Godfather and introduced a political angle to it. The actors, particularly the trio of Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Kay Kay Menon, were lavished with praise for their controlled yet intense performances. Abhishek Bachchan in particular, was rewarded for his portrayal as a son who is inexperienced but enters an unknown world so as to save his father. He won the following awards:
- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Abhishek Bachchan
- Zee Cine Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Male for Abhishek Bachchan
- IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor for Abhishek Bachchan
The music of the film is composed by Bapi and Tutul. Lyrics are penned by Sandeep Nath.
|1.||"Deen Bandhu"||Sandeep Nath||Reeta Ganguli||4:36|
|2.||"Deen Bandhu Theme"||4:24|
|3.||"Govinda - Song"||Sandeep Nath||Amitabh Bachchan, Kailash Kher, Bapi, Tutul||2:59|
|4.||"Govinda - Trance"||Sandeep Nath||Bapi, Tutul, Janaki||3:25|
|5.||"Jitni Oochaeeyan"||Sandeep Nath||Krishna, Farhad||3:27|
|6.||"Mujhe Jo Sahi Lagta Hai"||Sandeep Nath||Amitabh Bachchan, Kailash Kher||3:03|
|7.||"Sam Dam Bhed"||Sandeep Nath||Kailash Kher||3:29|
|8.||"Shaher, Shaher Ke Hazaron Sawal"||Sandeep Nath||Kailash Kher||3:54|
|9.||"The Govinda Omen"||Sandeep Nath||Choir||1:58|
|10.||"The Want For Power"||Sandeep Nath||Krishna, Farhad, Prasana Shekhar||2:04|
The Telugu sequel, titled Rowdy, in the backdrop of south Indian factionism, was released on 4 April 2014. Rowdy had also received equally positive reviews from critics but was a moderate commercial success, grossing approximately Rs.8 Crores in its full run.
A sequel titled Sarkar Raj was released on 6 June 2008 with Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan (who reprise their roles from the original) and new entrant Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Supriya Pathak, Tanisha Mukherjee and Ravi Kale also reappeared in their respective roles from Sarkar. The film released on 6 June 2008, was critically and commercially successful.
- Raja Sen (30 June 2005). "Sarkar is just Godfather, dumbed-down". Rediff.
- "Sarkar Raj makes it to the Academy of Motion Pictures library". Bollywood Hungama. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- David (16 June 2006). "The Films of Ram Gopal Varma – An Overview". Cinema Strikes Back. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
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